Thursday, 17 May 2018

Walking Cane And Able-Bodied - Flash Fiction



I became tenderly acquainted with death at an early age. A very early age. Before I’d taken my first breath, my twin drew his last. Carried off by midwife pall bearers, while I was borne aloft into light, air and pain. My first wail a lamentation for us both; for my dilating and his collapsed lungs. Death engendered me, he whom I call ‘father’. My handmaiden through life, or I his. My new goon companion, the cuckoo who had usurped my bosom buddy. 

A future headshrinker proffered that I had sawn my sibling off. In a fit of pique a boo hoo (who?). Fratricide in utero. I dismissed it reflexively of course, with that constriction in my throat a phantom emulation of the shared cord that had noosed him off. One into two does not go. Not when it’s indivisible flesh. Gestation’s entrailing guilt, riven at parturition, only became fully fledged that day supine on the couch. The blood they had hosed off me in the delivery suite was not that of my mother, rather that of my brother. The nurse placed heavyweight me to suckle at my mother’s breast, while she insisted deadweight Bruv be laid on the other one (how can a lightweight, or no weight, be a deadweight? Our first exposure to gravity). My mother’s body was lopsided from that day on, grief spiting gravity, so what do I know? My nativity body count lay at two. A brace of husks. Leaving me unbraced and liable to topple over at any moment. Death gave me a bony shoulder not to cry on, but to prop me up. Wearing me in a papoose. Doubling up with my brother’s shadow for a life of twofold stygian persecutions. 

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